As care workers, you spend lots of time out and about visiting clients operating on a busy schedule, so we put together our wellbeing tips for carers.
Some of these you’ll have heard before, but there’s no harm in being reminded, is there? We often find that our teams are so dedicated to carrying out their role admirably, yet they forget to take time out to care for themselves.
Is this you? If so, then we urge you to take five minutes out of your busy day just to read on and put your wellbeing first.
Get lots of rest
We recently read a meme that said “Rest is a productive activity”. This highlights a very important point; we’re all very into being productive and any minute of our day that’s not accounted for, be it work, cleaning, looking after children, studying, seems as though it’s a waste of time.
Not having enough rest makes you inefficient when you carry out these other activities, so actually resting is essential for a productive life. That means a minimum of seven quality hours of sleep, preferably eight.
If you habitually fail to get enough hours, you’re opening yourself up to making more mistakes, feeling grumpy or even being more susceptible to catching colds and getting sick in general. Other adverse effects of a sleep deficiency include being more forgetful, a slower metabolism and weight gain. Did you know just an hour more sleep can actually make you happier?
Get some exercise three times a week
Even if it’s just twenty minutes three times a week, you’re making a massive improvement to your health. Exercising can help you a get a better night’s sleep. It also helps you feel more alert and energetic. Just going for a brisk walk can elevate your heart rate, expose you to more vitamin D and help you problem-solve by opening up your creative channels.
Just like sleep, you can fortify your immune system with regular exercise as it increases blood flow to all your cells, making them more efficient. Another benefit is that you can eliminate bacteria from your airways. If you want fewer sick days and more quality days off, consider getting those trainers on!
Not only can eating well give you a healthy complexion, shiny eyes, strong nails and other superficial benefits, it can also improve digestion, help you fight infections and even improve your mood.
For a balanced diet, a selection of fruit, vegetables, grains and nuts gives you lots of healthy “green” carbs and fibre. Protein such as meat, fish and vegetables keeps you satiated for longer so you’re less inclined to grab sugary snacks between meals.
Processed carbs, crisps and sugar make you feel sluggish. If you feel tired a lot, swapping a few things around in your daily diet might help you feel more alert and raring to go.
It’s no mean feat overhauling your entire family menu, so we suggest starting with easy swaps. Then when you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can tackle your meal plan.
Easy food swaps:
Swap chocolate for three dried dates, a handful of berries or a yoghurt if you’re a sweet tooth.
Swap crisps for olives or humous and carrot sticks for those preferring savoury food.
Swap white bread for brown.
Add a little salad to each meal.
Run out the house without breakfast? Take a banana with you to get you through to lunchtime.
If you often pick up your lunch from Greggs or Costa, then opt for a salad rather than a baguette or a toasty. You’ll feel less inclined to snooze at 3pm.
Drink more water
Not drinking enough water can affect your concentration and cause headaches.
If you find you get tired in the middle of the afternoon, it could be that you’re not drinking enough of it. Dehydration also makes you think you’re hungry, so you might be inclined to overeat. Getting enough H2O also can boost your mood if you find yourself feeling in a bit of a malaise. It also gets rid of the nasty toxins in the body and prevents cramps.
Do you drink enough? Consider keeping a bottle with you when you’re out and about. Have a glass or two before each meal and endeavour to imbibe at least 2 litres in a day.
Be quiet and still
Mindfulness and meditation have really caught on with a wealth of apps and books offering you various ways of achieving a zen-like state. Actually, all world religions embrace it in some form. All you have to do in reality is take five minutes of your day to be quiet and still. Concentrate on your breathing and empty your head of all the mental clutter.
We’re always connected and tuned in to everything around us. Switching off from this for a few minutes has many positives.
The scientific benefits of silence and stillness include lowering blood pressure, reducing cortisol, preventing arterial plaque from developing, regulating hormones and even growing new brain cells.
If it seems too scary or you can’t still your thoughts, guided meditations can aid you.
Declutter your communal rooms
Reduce stress and anxiety by having a good sort out once in a while. We’re not asking you to pull out every drawer and empty the wardrobe after work, but the communal areas in your home that accumulate lots of clutter can make you feel unable to relax. Keep a tidy surface policy, deal with your post there and then and make sure there is a designated place for coats, shoes, toys and phone chargers.
Cleaning will also take less time and you won’t lose items nearly as often.
Do one thing every day that you enjoy
No matter whether you’re a parent or you have a long commute each day, find some joy in an activity you love. That can be listening to a playlist in your car on the way home, reading your newspaper for ten minutes at lunchtime or going for a walk in the evening to wash the working day away. Creating a few minutes to be utterly self-centred stops you resenting home, work and family so you can enjoy these things more.
We hope you feel inspired to implement one or two of these tips into your everyday activities to boost your health, concentration and happiness levels.